Since the departure of Luca de Montezemolo, Marco Mattiaci and Fernando Alonso, there is a new feel around Maranello.
Everything is awesome.
The two F1 race drivers are great mates and even fly to races together, although Kimi does believe Sebastian Vettel is a bit of a lightweight when it comes to Vodka fun and games.
Kimi revealed following the announcement of his contract extension for 2016, how happy a place Ferrari-land can be. “People are more happy when we can do better results and you guys [the media] write less negative things after that. But we keep working and we believe in what we’re doing. I’m sure we will get there and we will have many, many happy days in front of us and a lot of good results.”
In its history, Ferrari has not always exuded the current levels of calm and love as former Scuderia driver Niki Lauda would tell. He used to describe the Maranello as the ‘grande casino’ – meaning a place of large chaos, high intensity and stress. Another nickname for Ferrari has been the ‘dramedy’ team. When Vettel enquired as to the reason for this term, he was told it was because there’s always some drama going on at Ferrari.
Speaking about how he had no regrets when leaving Ferrari, Felipe Massa revealed ‘happyness’ was not a word he would use to describe life at the home of the Scuderia. “The most obvious symptom was that I did not feel important anymore. It was enough to see it just by making eye contact with the people around me. It was impossible to be happy.”
Yet somehow with the arrival of the Messiah twins – Vettel and Arrivabene – all has changed.
Sebastian Vettel is clearly full of the joys of Ferrari, evidenced by him bursting into song on the team radio during a mere practice session at the Abu Dhabi weekend. Anyone would think he’s a four time world champion.
Arrivabene has played his part in spreading happiness and mirth amongst the staff at Ferrari. Photographs of his antics in the pit lane at this year’s Austrian GP went viral following the Italian almost being run over by Felipe Massa. Photoshopped images of the Ferrari boss transposed onto other images were spread abroad on twitter using the hashtag #arrivabeneiseverywhere.
Seeing as Arrivabene is a big advocate of F1 using social media more to engage the fans, when his close miss with Massa went viral, one would assume Maurizio would have been delighted.
Apparently he was not.
At the subsequent EXPO event in Milan, Gazzetto dello Sport reported Arrivabene was not amused when questioned on the matter.
Maurizio has charmed the F1 world, media and fans alike and his ‘misunderstanding’ of the English term’s being used is endearing. But Arrivabene is no push over. He hails from the dog eat dog world of cigarette marketing and was not appointed Ferrari team principal merely for his people skills.
So Arrivabene’s actions at the Abu Dhabi GP may surprise those who think he is just Mr. Nice guy. F1 photographer Darren Heath, tweeted that Maurizio Arrivabene turned on a Sky Sports cameraman and raged, “Do that again and I’ll cut your f*cking head off!”
Heath later deleted the tweet with another stating, “lLearnt a lesson today on how tweets sent when emotions are high can be damaging.”
A Ferrari spokesperson was sent to explain to the media, “Yes, there was an incident, the cameraman bumped a mechanic. Maurizio intervened but he only gave him a warning.”
All this occurred whilst the FIA stewards were deliberating on whether Ferrari had cheated by sacking their staff – having them hired by Haas for a short period – and then having them sacked by Haas F1 before being rehired by Maranello.
Having been on the receiving end of years of coming second to Red Bull, prior to his departure the ex-boss of Ferrari – Luca de Montezemolo – called for his team to find the grey areas in the regulations and ‘push the boundaries’ of the rules. The call went unheaded.
However, since Mr. Nice guy has appeared on the scene, all this has changed. Ferrari found the loophole in Charlie Whiting’s poorly written power unit homologation regulations, which led to in season engine development this year.
Further, the latest loophole Ferrari exploited in collaboration with Haas F1 was genius. They have utilised Haas F1’s non-regulated status to circumnavigate wind tunnel and CFD FIA regulations with impunity.
It appears the Mr. Nice guy mask Maurizio wears for his media duties, is not the real face of Arrivabene; who is driving Ferrari toward their goal of a return to the top of Formula One.
Then everything will be awesome.